Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughtful About . . . Prayer

by Jean-François Millet Angelus, 1859

Prayer.

It's one of those things that believers know we need. It's communion. It's supplication. It's worship.

It's crucial. Vital.

And hard for me to find the time to engage in.

That sounds awful, and is awful. But it's true, and I suspect I'm not the only busy parent who encounters this. I can find time every day to read my Bible, because whenever a little one comes up and interrupts me, it's just a matter of finding my place again and continuing. But when prayer is interrupted (which it always is), it's a little harder to get back to.

Sometimes I journal my prayers, and that works well...until I can't find a pen or misplace my notebook. Which happens, LOL.

But one of my resolutions this year was to spend more time in prayer. And so, each day, I'm trying.

Usually, it looks like this. The kids run out of the room on some search, and I whisper to the Lord the thoughts weighing on my mind. It lasts about half a minute, before the little ones come tearing back in. Or I'm in the shower. Shower has become prayer time. It's the only solid 15 minutes I have in a day without guaranteed interruptions, so I've made a concerted effort to use it for that God time.

And mostly, I'm trying to listen. You know those times you get that feeling? I'm making a conscious decision to heed those.

Like last week, when I got that feeling that I should fill up the water jugs. We have a well, so no electricity = no water. It was supposed to be colder than it had been in 20 years, and windy. So I filled up the jugs. And I prayed the Lord would keep us warm. And I knew--knew--we'd lose power.

It went out at 3 a.m. and didn't come back on until twelve hours later. The house had dropped down to just under 50 degrees, but we had water. And we kept warm enough. And I thanked God for that warning whisper.

I've also found myself praying very pointedly lately. Like, when praying for a new opportunity, being very specific in what I hope for and when I hope for it. These prayers always feel a little strange to me, and I tend to hedge them with, "You know...maybe...if this is Your will..." But they also feel right. And they keep proving themselves. Twice now in the last couple weeks these very-specific prayers have yielded very-specific, very quick results.

When I think of prayer, I often think of Jewel of Persia. My heroine had a prayer life I aspire to, yet which feels very out of reach to me. She, after all, had servants to help her out, LOL. But though I can't feasibly spend hours on my knees before the Lord, I can give Him my all. I can trust Him fully to deliver what's best for me. And yes, I can listen.

And when I listen...well, I won't say nothing ever catches me by surprise. But a lot less has lately. Good news and bad have been more a "Okay...yep...that's what God was saying, all right" than a "Wha????"

I've got a lot of growing to do here yet. A lot. But I love these lessons. I love crawling up into the lap of my God and knowing He's holding me tight. I love pausing, stopping, and getting that feeling. I love knowing it's my heavenly Father, guiding me through my every day.

I love having prayer in my life. And I'm so, so grateful that my Lord loves it too.

3 comments:

  1. Fascinating.

    Prayer is something I'm working on this year too because ... yeah. Honestly, it just confuses the heck out of me sometimes and I talk myself in circles from "prayer is the most important thing I do" to "I really just want God's will for my life, so why am I bothering to ask for stuff...?" I'm reading Prayer by Richard Foster, which my pastor recommended when I sent him one of those desperate, I'm-so-confused and please-tell-me-what-to-read type books.

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  2. And in the meantime, you'll just have to discern stuff for me ;)

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  3. I so appreciated this post, Roseanna! Saved it so I could refer back to it. Maybe I'm speaking from personal experience, but I think all too often that we have a lot of head knowledge about prayer, but are sadly lacking in actually doing it. I'm trying to grow in this area also. Richard Foster's book that Stephanie mentioned is great, as are all of his. Thanks for sharing, Roseanna.

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